Town Meeting Electronic Voting Committee voted unanimously to support warrant article this morning
Amherst's antiquated 250+ legislative body will get a chance to enter the 21st century this fall courtesy of the Town Meeting Electronic Voting Committee, who will request a revision to the Rules of Order to allow for -- you guessed it -- electronic voting.
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Amendment to Rules of Order
A separate article vetted by the Joint Capital Planning Committee will request $26,000 to pay for the new system.
The committee was formed less than a year ago and members appointed by Town Moderator Jim Pistrang. The Fall Town Meeting starts November 2 with the article calling for amending the Rules of Order to come up almost immediately.
The Committee also decided to bring in the vendor to do a demonstration as part of the presentation of the article, although one member wondered if they really wanted to take that chance.
If Town Meeting approves both the Rules of Order change and the $26,000 in capital expenditures the system would see first official use at the Spring, 2016 Town Meeting.
Mr. Pistrang did ask the Committee if they thought some Town Meeting members might vote against the article due to rumors of a new Charter movement that could eventually lead to replacing Town Meeting with a far more efficient Mayor/Council.
The Committee assigned tech minded member Jonathan O'Keeffe to research the resale value of a used system if the town decided to sell it, but other members pointed out it could still be useful to the Public Schools or at public forums.
The vendor suggests a five year lifespan but the Committee decided to use 8 years in their Final Report that will be mailed to all Town Meeting members, which will also include a section for Frequently Asked Questions.
Leasing a system was explored but because Amherst tends to have many nights of Town Meeting, the cost was almost the same for a one year lease vs buying the system.